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Health News of Tuesday, 30 October 2018


CSO pushes for more resources to aid primary healthcare

The Alliance for Reproductive Health Rights (ARHR), a Civil Society Organization (CSO) in health, has called on government to show more commitment towards strengthening primary healthcare delivery in the country.

He gave thumps up to the government for the implementation of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), a proactive move to give the entire citizenry an unimpeded access to primary care, but said the current situation where card bearers had to pay for basic services when they visited health facilities, needed to be addressed urgently.

Nii Ankonu Annobrah-Sarpei, Programme Manager of ARHR, who made the call said Ghana was not making any progress in ensuring that basic healthcare was affordable to the entire citizenry and called for a change.

He added that access to primary healthcare by the ordinary people was a human right issue critical to achieving the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) which ties in with the Sustainable Development Goal 3 (SDG).

The Programmes Manager was speaking at a stakeholders’ meeting in Kumasi to discuss Ghana’s progress towards achieving primary healthcare with particular focus on health financing and service delivery.

The meeting, which coincided with the 40th anniversary of the International Conference on Primary Health Care by the World Health Organization (WHO), was held under the theme, “Primary Health Care: Ghana’s Progress”.

It was attended by representatives of CSOs, Persons with Disability (PWDs), the media and some government agencies.
The meeting also provided a platform to share with participants a comprehensive analysis of Ghana’s health budget over the last three years.

“The NHIS should be able to cater for the primary health care needs of the people for Ghana to achieve SDG 3,” he added.

Government, he noted, must ensure its commitment to primary health care at the global level was met to ensure affordable health care for all.

Nana-Aisha Mohammed, a Budget Consultant to ARHR, said in spite of the critical role of primary health care, not much resources were committed to it in 2018 budget.

She however praised government for the removal of 17.5 per cent VAT on selected pharmaceutical products, saying it impacted positively on the supply of certain essential medicines.